Junction works to cause Texaco gas pains

Ian Allen
Texaco Gas Station in Agualta Vale, St. Mary.

The Texaco service station at the Robert Schumann Roundabout in Agualta Vale, St Mary, has been a landmark at that location for many years, despite the different owners and brands under which it has operated. With the start of the third segment of the North Coast Highway Improvement Project linking Ocho Rios in St Ann and Port Antonio in Portland, the station began to undergo a radical transformation which has resulted in a change of fortunes.

Upon completion of the rehabilitation of the Junction main road linking St Mary to St Andrew, the short-term windfall it now enjoys from the construction work will evaporate, unless management is prepared to make major investment, owner Howard Paulwell told The Gleaner.

Rerouted directly

This is because the main roadway from St Andrew that now passes right beside the station will be rerouted directly to the roundabout, effectively taking it out of the line of sight of the motoring public.

“As it is right now, the road configuration actually puts us down under [the roadway] and because of the new road situation, the station is going to be discarded. So right where the road is going to come into the roundabout, we will have to build an entrance, a sort of slip road, coming into the gas station,” Paulwell told The Gleaner.

And then if you’re coming from Annotto Bay (opposite direction), you can just slip and come into the gas station. That’s the best thing I think that can be done,” he told The Gleaner.

For supervisor Lavern Haase, the longer the road construction in that section of the highway lasts, it is the better for business. During a visit last Wednesday, she explained that the influx of heavy-duty equipment which uses diesel for fuel, has resulted in an uptick in sales of that commodity.

“Basically, we have not lost business as yet, because we are selling more gas oil (diesel) than normally and snacks and also the gasolene has increased a bit, but we are waiting to see what will happen after the road has changed course and the construction crews move further in the Junction,” she said.

Management has recognised the need for extra promotion and is working to bring the station back into focus, once the road rehabilitation is completed, Paulwell explained.

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News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20190422/junction-works-cause-texaco-gas-pains

Sir Alister remembered as a titan of post-independence Caribbean

Gleaner Photo

Tributes poured in from across the Caribbean for Sir Alister McIntyre, former secretary general of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), whose work with the regional institution was recognised and honoured by Jamaica with the Order of Merit, the country’s third highest honour.

Current and former leaders around the Caribbean, from Jamaica’s Andrew Holness to Barbados’ Mia Mottley, remembered his charisma, commitment to regional integration, and diplomatic adroitness.

Sir Alister, 87, passed away Saturday in Jamaica.

Holness, in responding to the sad news of Sir Alister’s passing, reflected on his significant contributions to the integration movement and the field of developmental economics. “As former secretary general of CARICOM between 1974-1977, he spearheaded the movement towards integration. This, along with his tremendous contribution to academic discussions on the economic development of the region as well as economic integration between states, placed him as a foremost actor in our evolution as Caribbean people”.

He said that the Caribbean has lost one of the more credible repositories of its post-independence history. ”His experience at the forefront of the post-independence movement and as an intellectual voice in the creation of the modern Caribbean economic and political identity, gave him a breadth of knowledge and experience that has benefited generations of Caribbean leaders and thinkers.”

Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips called Sir Alister a giant of Caribbean scholarship and a champion of the regional movement.

Reacting to the news of his death, former prime minister, P.J. Patterson, said Sir Alister was an intellectual giant and lauded him for helping the regional bloc to transition from a free trade association into the institution now known as the CARICOM.

“His mastery of the complex technical issues pertaining to trade, finance, and the development agenda provided the backbone for the ACP throughout the Lomé negotiations,” Patterson underscored in a statement yesterday.

“I feel a very special sense of loss at the sudden departure of a highly revered colleague whose astute advice and generous support were always available within a close and lasting friendship,” added Patterson, who served as prime minister from 1992 to 2006.

First class honours

In 1974, Sir Alister was appointed secretary general of CARICOM. He was vice-chancellor emeritus of The University of the West Indies at the time of his passing.

The well-known academic was born in Grenada. He studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science and graduated with first-class honours. He then lectured in economics at the Mona Campus in Jamaica, which now has a building named in his honour.

Sir Alister moved on to serve as vice-chancellor of The UWI from 1988 to 1998.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley said the regional giant would be remembered fondly as one of the titans of the post-independent Caribbean.

“The region and the wider hemisphere benefited immensely from the depth of thought and analysis that this former economics lecturer, director of the Institute of Social and Economic Studies of the UWI (since renamed in honour of Sir Arthur Lewis), secretary general of CARICOM, deputy secretary general of UNCTAD, and assistant secretary general in the Office of the Director General for International Economic Cooperation at the United Nations, brought to the affairs of the people of the Caribbean and the world,” Mottley stated.

And fellow academic and friend of Sir Alister, Don Robotham, said he was ill, but it was concealed by his humour and fortitude.

“Many saw Alister only as a skilful, clever, eminent personality – the epitome of the sophisticated Caribbean brown man. Yes, but he was a lot more,” Robotham stated.

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News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20190422/sir-alister-remembered-titan-post-independence-caribbean

8-y-o leads candlelight vigil for Shantae Skyers

Gladstone Taylor
Tanya Louden (left) and her daughter Courtney Greaves (fourth left) with invited friends and colleagues at a public stand against violence perpetrated against innocent children amid recent tragedies such as the killing of eight-year-old Shantae Skyers of Sterling Castle, St Andrew. The gathering took place in Half-Way Tree on Good Friday about 7 p.m. The protest involved a candlelight ceremony, prayers and the singing of hymns.

When eight-year-old Courtney Greaves heard about the gruesome murder of Shantae Skyers and other children harmed in recent times, she begged her mother to help her and friends prepare a candlelight vigil in their memory.

Greaves and her mother, Tanya Louden, took to the streets of Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, last Friday night, raising placards and shouting for a halt to the killings, rape and mistreatment of children across the island. The march ended with a candlelight vigil in Half-Way Tree square.

The student of Jessie Ripoll Primary School and member of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston was joined by her classmates as well as adult bystanders incensed by the killing of Jamaica’s most vulnerable.

Voice for the voiceless

Greaves said she hopes to become a prime minister of Jamaica, a preacher or a police officer, and said her efforts were aimed at honouring children like herself.

“I wanted to remember them, and I want to be a voice for the voiceless. When I heard about the children who were hurt, I felt sad and I wanted to help them,” she told The Gleaner.

Louden said her daughter suggested the vigil only Thursday night and that it warmed her heart to help her daughter prepare.

Some of the posters read: ‘We are innocent children’, ‘We want to grow up’ and ‘Our lives matter’.

“I am proud of what she is doing. I am scared also as a mother, knowing what is happening to the children out there; and when she came up with the idea, I was just very willing to support and stand with her,” said the proud mother.

“She wants to stand with every child and she always tells me that she wants to be the voice of the voiceless. I guess that was the initiative for her to do these things,” Louden said.

Eight-year-old Shantae Skyers’ decomposing body was found last Tuesday among rubble in the usually quiet community of Sterling Castle Heights following a five-day search.

She was reported missing to the police after she failed to return home from school.

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News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20190422/8-y-o-leads-candlelight-vigil-shantae-skyers

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Come for farming, stay for fun at agri shows


Good, “clean family fun” with something of interest for every member of the household will be the order of the day at the two expositions hosted by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) in St James and St Mary today.

Livestock displays showcasing the best in cattle, sheep, goats and rabbits are a major drawing card at the Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show in St James and St Mary Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show at Agualta Vale, JAS President Lenworth Fulton told The Gleaner yesterday. The issue of climate change will also be addressed, in light of a recent call by farmers for a policy support to help them deal with the harsh realities brought on by the phenomenon.

Climate-smart agriculture

“There will be new approaches to the challenges of climate change to show more climate- smart agriculture, because that is a confrontation that we can’t hide from, so we just have to deal with it,” the agriculturalist declared.

“The shows celebrate rural activities and rural people who are mostly farmers, and so by coming out, patrons are giving tangible support to agriculture and get a chance to learn about the research findings in regard to new crops, improved varieties, improved livestock, and then there are the culinary arts competitions. They provide clean family fun in terms of the live music, dog shows, horseback and donkey riding, all of which come together to make the Easter shows an enjoyable option,” he pointed out.

“New equipment, machinery and technologies, as well as improvements in agro-chemicals and other inputs and improved farming systems, will be on display. So the shows also provide a chance to network and meet people who are doing exciting things in local agriculture, young scientists and students in training at our various agricultural schools to really get a chance to share their work with the public.”

The JAS president also pointed out that his administration would be seeking to provide incentives for livestock farmers to participate at the shows, given the significant fall-off in sponsorship over the years, which had resulted in smaller numbers of animals being presented in recent years. Escalating fuel costs and increases in feed prices, as well as the maintenance for handlers who, along with the livestock, are usually housed at the facility a few days before the show, have combined to make it less feasible for some farmers to participate.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20190422/come-farming-stay-fun-agri-shows

Expose them! – Sterling Castle pastor wants parents to unmask community predators

Rudolph Brown
Bishop Orville Plummer prays for Christal Service (left), mother of Shantae Skyers, who was murdered and her body found in Sterling Castle last Tuesday. Faith Hull (right) comforts Service yesterday during the Easter Sunday morning service at Sterling Castle New Testament Church of God.

Orville Plummer, pastor of the Sterling Castle New Testament Church of God, has called on parents in the community to expose adults who prey on the underaged.

In a sermon yesterday at the church, the man of the cloth also announced a number of initiatives and partnerships with state agencies to clamp down on men who sexually abuse minors.

The church leader made an impassioned plea for peace in the community following the murder and discovery of the body of eight-year-old Shantae Skyers on Tuesday and the subsequent vengeful mob killing and burning of the body of 27-year-old Miguel Williams, accused of withholding information about the child’s death or being involved in the incident.

Two suspects are in custody for the slaying of Skyers, whose body was found in a section of the community called Blue Hole. It is believed that the child was molested before her gruesome death.

Members of the church offered prayers and expressed compassion for Shantae’s mother, Christal Service, and other family members who were present for worship.

“She was a Sunday school student and member of our children’s choir. The Sunday before Shantae died, she sang on the choir. Her death has affected the church. The young man that the community set upon and killed, his family are also affiliated with this church. Therefore, the church is really in the middle, trying to bring comfort and peace,” Plummer told The Gleaner.

“The incident speaks to issues with parenting, lack of community cohesion, and the fact that children walk the route that Shantae took, because the road into the community is not suitable for taxis,” the pastor explained.

“Communities need to be stronger and be aware of persons who would have made passes at underage children and have behaved predatorily towards children. We have a responsibility to report and expose those persons and ensure our children are protected,” he stressed.

A series of workshops and other initiatives will begin in the community this week and are geared towards ensuring that parents are coached in child protection.

“We understand from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency that there have been reports of children being abused in the community. We will be working with the Social Development Commission, the National Health Fund and others, as part of what needs to be done towards community transformation. We are making ourselves available for persons who may have trauma to come for counselling.

“This Wednesday, stakeholders will sit and strategise to ensure we don’t have a repeat (of last week’s tragedy). We want a strengthening of the relationship with the family, the community, the church and the Red Hills police to ensure that the forces of good are united against any force of evil. I don’t want the community to be stigmatised and marred by what has happened,” Plummer declared.

In her comments, Service appealed to other parents to keep their children close, and pray for them. “I am out of words, believe me. The more you try to protect, the more the devil steps in and tries to break you. I don’t know what to say to parents other than to pray and ask God to protect your children in these times, when they need the most protection.”

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News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20190422/expose-them-sterling-castle-pastor-wants-parents-unmask-community

‘We will get them’ – Supt. of police sends message to men who shot MoBay cop

Photo by Hopeton Bucknor
Superintendent Vernon Ellis.

Western Bureau:

Superintendent Vernon Ellis, the commanding officer for the St James police, is sounding a warning to the men who shot and seriously injured a policeman in Norwood yesterday morning.

“We are not going to ask them to turn themselves in; that is a choice they will have to make,” said Ellis, in reacting to the shooting of Constable Brandon Murray. “We have three persons of interest out there and we intend to get them, so the choice as to what they do is entirely up to them.”

Murray, who lives in the troubled Norwood community in St James, was attacked by thugs who opened fire on him. Despite being injured, the cop managed to return fire as the attackers retreated and made good their escape.

Last line of defence

“He was shot in the chest and shoulder. We believe one of his attackers was also shot,” said Ellis. “When criminals attack the police, they are attacking the State’s last line of defence, so needless to say, the people are expecting a response from the police, and we are not going to disappoint them.”

According to reports, about 9:10 a.m., the policeman was walking in an area known as Docatone Square in the Hollywood section of Norwood when he was attacked.

“I heard a barrage of shots and people a run, so I tek off, too. I run into my house, too, and is under di bed mi find myself with mi pickney dem,” a male resident told The Gleaner. “Mi sick and tired a di shooting … . Enough is enough, a time fi it stop.”

Lamenting the brazen attack on his colleague, Ellis urged the residents to remain calm and support the efforts of the police to rid the various communities of criminals.

“This is bad in the holy season of Easter, but I find comfort in Romans 13 verse 4 (But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil,”) said Ellis.

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News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20190422/we-will-get-them-supt-police-sends-message-men-who-shot-mobay-cop

Man shot dead by cops in Westmoreland; angry residents protest

Man shot dead by cops in Westmoreland; angry residents protest

by Patrice Walters

The Westmoreland police have reported that the man who was shot and killed by cops in the Ashton community yesterday (Apl 20) had opened fire at the cops and the fire was returned.

This contrast with claims from residents that 26 year old Steve Grey, also called Urkel, or Shemar, was shot in cold blood.

Commanding officer for the Westmoreland police division, Superintendent Gary McKenzie, said based on reports, the cops were conducting an operation in the community, when they observed a group of men, whose actions aroused their suspicions.

One of the men ran on the approach of the cops.

Last night, upset residents blocked sections of the roadway and lit fires, in protest over the shooting.

Speaking with Irie FM News today (Apl 21) Superintendent McKenzie said the community remains tense, and that police are in the area doing intervention.

He said the roadways remain blocked, as the police await assistance from the relevant authorities, with heavy equipment.


News Credit: IrieFM | Read here http://iriefm.net/man-shot-dead-by-cops-in-westmoreland-angry-residents-protest/

Police constable shot, wounded in St James

Police constable shot, wounded in St James

by Patrice Walters

A police constable assigned to the Freeport police station was shot and seriously wounded near his home, in Hollywood, Norwood, St. James this morning (Apl 21).

Reports from the Constabulary Communications Unit are that about 9:00 a.m. the cop was pounced upon by unknown assailants who shot him in the upper body several times.

The wounded cop was rushed to hospital and admitted for treatment.

He is said to be in serious but stable condition.


News Credit: IrieFM | Read here http://iriefm.net/police-constable-shot-wounded-in-st-james/

Dr Chang hails Rastafari movement significance to Jamaica

Dr Chang hails Rastafari movement significance to Jamaica

by Patrice Walters

Minister of National Security Dr. Horace Chang says the Rastafari movement has been a very important part of Jamaica’s history, and that 56 years after the Coral Gardens incident, the movement must be given the respect it deserves.

Describing the 1963 Coral Gardens atrocities against Rastafari as one of the most horrific incidents in Jamaica’s history, Dr. Chang said while Rastas are a minority, they played a significant role in the country’s development and should never have been treated that way.

He said Rastafarians were the first set of people to assert their identities and be proud to do so after colonialism erased the identity of black people, making them mere slaves.

Dr. Chang said Coral Gardens was a reflection of the system of abuse inherited from colonial masters, and that 57 years after independence, Jamaicans must recognize that they are a black society and accept themselves as one people.

He said Rastafarians are fully deserving of any compensation they receive, resulting from the Coral Gardens incident.

Meantime, lecturer at the University of the West Indies Mona, Dr. Michael Barnett, has expressed hope that Rastafarian survivors of the 1963 Coral Grdens massacre will receive their compensation soon.

Dr. Barnett noted that many Rastas who survived the atrocity, have since died without being compensated.

He said every effort must be made to ensure that the remaining survivors are compensated, before it is too late.

Dr. Barnett said the matter is urgent, as most of the elders are suffering, and now need the funds to take care of their failing health.

He was speaking at the 56th annual commemoration of the Coral Gardens atrocities against Rastafari, at the Pitfour Nyabinghi Centre, where National Security Minister and Member of Parliament for North West St. James, Dr. Horace Chang announced that a $13 m trust fund has been established to compensate Rastafarians who suffered in the Coral Gardens incident.


News Credit: IrieFM | Read here http://iriefm.net/dr-chang-hails-rastafari-movement-significance-to-jamaica/

Marriages down; Divorces up

Marriages down; Divorces up

by Donique Weston

Jamaica continues to see a steady decline in the number of couples getting married.


That’s according to Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Carol Coy.


Miss Coy notes that marriages declined by almost 5% from 2017 to 2018.


She also adds that divorces continue to rise.



Data from STATIN indicates that divorces have been on an upward trend since 2014. Whereas only 1,744 divorce decrees were granted in 2014, that number has risen to 3,402 in 2018.


Similarly, marriages have been trending down for more than a decade.


Whereas 21,692 people got married in 2009, only 16,719 took vows in 2018.


News Credit: IrieFM | Read here http://iriefm.net/marriages-down-divorces-up/